For the past 3 and a half years, Scott Douglass has been a volunteer at Goodhew Gardens, bringing love, laughter and song to residents’ lives.
He’s there three days a week helping with whatever he can – serving residents food and drinks, accompanying them on shopping trips, joining and leading the activities. Scott loves music and can be heard breaking into song in the lifts when other residents are around.
According to Scott the best thing about volunteering is spending quality time with the residents, one on one.
“I spend one on one time with residents in conversation, singing songs they know with and without accompaniment and reminiscing about past events in their lives. I also sing to residents on Friday with songs from the past using a ukulele.
“Many do like to sing, so singing is quite engaging. Sometimes I will break out into songs that residents may know in the lift and we have a small informal choir. The other part is bringing laughter in their lives through conversation. I have also had some very significant conversations with some of the employees at different times too.”
In the past he worked for Qantas as a contractor assisting in the selling, returning and annual certification of aircrafts. It was highly technical administrative support work. Now he is doing something completely new.
“It was more personable and relational than some of the other administrative support work that I have done in the recent past. A good part of my life has been doing some type of administrative support in governmental, military and other Christian ministries. This was one on one time with people rather than being in front of a computer all day,” says Scott.
“A good day of volunteering is really engaging with the residents so that they feel they are valued for who they are as people and individuals. This can be done through reminiscing about the past, taking them for walks in the building while have conversation or listening intently about events that have happened to them in the past and recent past.”
Scott says he likes volunteering for Anglicare because he can make a difference in the lives of others.
“I think that I was meant for this type of work a long time ago but it took many years to bring it about.”